Latest crypto heist highlights urgency for increased regulation




Another crypto whale has fallen victim to the predatory tactics of phishers. Wallet activity shows a fraudster recently moved a haul of £24,200,000 in staked Ethereum, as confirmed on X by PeckShield, a blockchain security company.

The stolen funds have reportedly been moved into Tornado Cash, a crypto mixer platform often accused of facilitating money laundering. This latest incident amplifies the pressing need to critically evaluate platforms such as Tornado Cash, that play a significant role in laundering crypto assets.

Martin Cheek, managing director of SmartSearch, a leading digital compliance platform, vocally criticised the continued use of Tornado Cash for illicit activity.

Mr Cheek commented: “The recent positive court ruling in Texas, underscores a step towards purging the industry of this plague. It is a clear signal that U.S law enforcement is closing in on money laundering enablers, and steering the industry in the right direction with necessary sanctions and legal oversight.”

“Unfortunately, there is a darker side of the crypto industry. It is often used as a conduit for organised crime such as human trafficking, tax evasion, online scams, and international corruption. The victims of which are frequently those who are least equipped to recover from such financial blows.”

Despite the clear security concerns, there are many that believe tools like Tornado Cash can serve a legitimate purpose as a privacy-enhancing tool to protect user data more effectively.

Mr Cheek continued: “Safeguarding users from financial crimes and respecting their privacy should always be the top priority. The role of cutting-edge electronic verification (EV) has never been more important to keep users safe from financial crimes. With robust levels of verification, both are achievable.”

Mr Cheek calls upon crypto exchanges and wallet providers to embrace electronic verification to meet know-your client (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) standards.

He warns: “Common practices such as requesting an ID document are no longer sufficient. Not only do they not meet KYC and AML standards, but they can also leave the door open for the exploitation of identity theft.”

There is an urgent need for robust regulatory frameworks and advanced verification technologies. It is high time that such an innovative industry sheds its nefarious darker side and becomes regulated by accountability and transparency.

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About the author, Danielle Trigg

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